416-417

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp416-417 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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vowels, except i, which is the same as the German ie. There are no silent letters in the written Hawaiian language.

English is very generally spoken throughout the group.

GOVERNMENT.

Under the great chief Kamehameha the islands of the Hawaiian group became consolidated into a kingdom about the beginning of the present century, and continued, with occasional interference from European powers, as an independent nation under the rule of the descendents of the first great chief.

At the beginning of the present year the Government was a constitutional monarchy, ruled by a queen aided by a cabinet consisting of 4 ministers, and by a legislature composed of 24 members of the house of nobles and 24 representatives. These, with the ministers, made a total of 52. Members of both houses were elected by a popular vote. An educational qualification was necessary for all voters, and a property qualification for electors for nobles. In January of this year the revolution occurred which resulted in the present Provisional Government.

BUSINESS.

Business is almost entirely carried on by foreigners, principally Americans, British, Germans, and Chinamen. Many of the principal offices are filled by foreigners or by native-born whites.

CURRENCY.

Gold and silver coins of all nations are current as legal tender at real or nominal value. From 1884 only United States gold coins have been legal tender for more than $10; no paper money exists excepting in form of treasury certificates for coin deposited.

FINANCE.*

The budget is (was) voted for a biennial period. The following table shows the revenue and expenditures in dollars for the last five financial periods:

1882-'84 1884-'86 1886-'88 1888-'90 1890-'92
Revenue $3,092,085 $3,010,655 $4,812,576 $3,632,197 $4,408,033
Expenditures 2,216,406 2,988,722 4,712,285 3,250,510 4,095,891

The revenue is largely derived from customs ($1,204,305, 1890-'92) and internal taxes ($963,495, 1890-'92), while the largest item of expenditure was for the interior ($1,641,848, 1890-'92). The debt, March, 1892, was:

Bonded debt

$2,314,000

Due depositors' postal-savings bank

903,162


*Statesman's Year Book, 1893.

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COMMERCE—EXPORTS AND IMPORTS.

Sugar and rice are the staple industries, while coffee, hides, bananas, and wool are also exported.

The following table shows the commerce and shipping for five years:

Years. Imports. Native exports. Customs receipts. Ships entered. Tonnage.
1887 $4,944,000 $9,435,000 $595,000 254 210,703
1888 4,541,000 11,631,000 546,000 246 221,148
1889 5,439,000 14,040,000 550,000 288 223,567
1890 6,962,000 13,143,000 696,000 295 230,120
1891 7,439,000 10,259.000 660,000 310 284,155

The chief exports in 1891 were:

Sugar

pounds

274,983,580

Rice

do

4,900,450

Bananas

bunches

116,660

Wool

pounds

97,119

The imports are mainly groceries, provisions, clothing, grain, timber, machinery, hardware, and cotton goods.

Ninety-one per cent of the trade is with the United States.*

PRODUCTS, RESOURCES, VEGETATION.

Besides sugar and rice, the staple products, coffee, bananas, oranges, and other fruits are largely grown. Food products are abundant, especially of the kind suitable to a hot climate.

The native food consists largely of the taro plant, of which the best varieties are grown in shallow ponds of fresh water. It is stated that about 40 square feet of taro will yield enough to supply one man for a year, this being his principal food. From this plant is made the poi, which is the ordinary food of the Kanaka.

The sweet potato grows even amongst the rocks and flourishes abundantly in good soil, while the common potato sometimes grows well, though is often injured by worms.

Wheat and corn are grown; the former was once cultivated for export. Flour is made, but it is said that the islands now receive all their cereal products from California.

The quality of the coffee raised is said to be equal to the choicest.

The climate is also very favorable to the growth of the long staple sea-island cotton; but as this variety must be picked by hand the high price of labor in the islands renders its culture unprofitable.

Tropical fruits of nearly all kinds grow in the greatest abundance, the orange, lemon, lime, mango, pineapple, chirimoya or custard apple, the alligator pear, pomegranate, and guava, all of which are exotic.

The banana is indigenous, and is the most abundant of all fruits; besides it there are the ohia apple—a fruit peculiar to the Pacific islands, soft, juicy, and mildy acid—many varieties of palms, the choicest trees of India, the caoutchouc, the papaya, the traveler's tree of Madagascar, and other foreign plants.

INDUSTRIES.

"The chief industry of the islands is the cultivation of sugar cane. Fer this the soil (although the area is limited) seems better adapted


*Statesman's Year Book, 1893.
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----27


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